213: Why You Need a Got Done List Rather Than a To-Do List

213: Why You Need a Got Done List Rather Than a To-Do List


In this episode, I discuss the topic of why you need a got done list rather than a to-do list. I break down what a got-done list is, how I’ve used it in the past and how I’m using it now. I also share a free resource you can download to start creating your own got-done list and celebrating your own accomplishments.

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Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu 0:02

Welcome back everyone to another episode of the Grad School Femtoring Podcast. This is your host, Doctora Yvette. And today I have a short and sweet solo episode, on the topic of why you need to start a get done list rather than a to do list. I'm actually recording this episode The night before I released it. I don't do that often. I usually batch episodes. I do have several episodes that are batched that are guest episodes. But this week just flew by. For me, it's been a very eventful week, very busy week. So I decided that I would do a short and sweet solo episode instead. And I'll get to my guests episodes again next week.

So for today's episode, I thought I would bring up something that I have been incorporating in my life that has been pretty handy. So as many of you know, I am an academic coach. But I'm also chronically ill, and neurodivergent. And so I am always trying to find new and different ways to get work done in a compassionate way. So I am a big fan of sustainable productivity, and of doing things in a way that benefit your wellness or your well being while still getting work done and doing work that matters to you.

And this week, I had been feeling like I've wasn't giving myself enough credit for everything that I've been doing, I've had to slow down in some areas of some work areas, because some of my personal areas have kind of sped up. But it's there's been a lot more going on in my personal life, that I've had to make room for that because I only have a certain number of spoons on any given day, I only have a set amount of energy on any given day, I never really know how I'm going to wake up and feel I'm always going to have a different array of symptoms. And it's just kind of life with living with chronic illness. And then with my neuro divergence, too. I can find it hard sometimes to remain focused or to focus on a task and get a test started, task initiation.

I also have working memory issues, I mean, all kinds of memory issues, I have to admit my short term and long term memory are also not that great. But I try to find ways to work with my brain and my body instead of pushing back and, you know, resisting it. So when I was feeling like I don't know, if I'm giving myself enough credit for what I'm doing despite slowing down in some areas. I thought, well, you know what, this is a good time to start incorporating my got done list again. So I started using a got done list, and I didn't even know it was a got done list. I don't actually call it that, but I was doing this when I was a grad student.

I remember when I was working on my dissertation for any little thing that I did to touch my dissertation, I would write whatever I did down even if it was just, you know, 15, 20 minutes of something. And I would write it on my passion planner, I uses the passion planner for many, many years, I no longer use it, I still think it's a great planner. I just no longer really use printed paper planners anymore. I'm more into digital calendars and digital planners now. But in any case, I would write the things that I got done in my planner, I would give myself a sticker for everything that I did. And that's kind of what kept me going and gave myself credit for what I was doing.

So I thought to myself, you know what, I want to create a resource for myself that I can use that's going to help me to give myself credit for everything that I'm doing, and to remain focused on the things that I need to focus on on any given day. So I created this daily focus planner. It's a one sheet handout. There's two columns. On the left hand side there's three sections in that column. The first section is a section where you can write down your area of focus for the day. So if there's was if there is one theme, or one area that you wanted to focus on, even if you do multiple things throughout your day, but if you knew I could only do one thing today I could only focus on one area of my life today, what would that be? So that's that.

There's also a section on listing three work priorities and another section, listing three personal priorities. Now, this is important for me because I never want my To Do lists to solely focus on my work, the things that pay my bills for my nine to five, I want to make sure I incorporate myself and personal areas of my life. So sometimes it's myself, sometimes it's my family, sometimes it's my community, things that are meaningful to me that may not necessarily have to do with the work that I do, again, to make ends meet.

And then on the right hand side, there's a column, that's a got done list. So that's what I wanted to talk about today. Because that is that takes up the whole right hand side of the page, the whole half of that sheet, is just me writing down and acknowledging all the things I did, even if they seem like little things, even if they are something like I rested today, or I went out and did something that you needed to meet your basic needs. We do so much on any given day. And a lot of times, it's those small menial things, and a lot of times, some of these things are highly gendered too, and we don't give ourselves credit for all of that.

I've been using it for the last two weeks now. And I've been using it every day. And what I really, really like about it is that I have it right next to my desk, I actually printed it and laminated it. And because it's laminated, I can use an expo marker, and at the end of the day, I can just erase it and get it ready for the next day. And only it takes me about, I don't know, five minutes, maybe even less than that in the morning, as I'm starting my day to really think about okay, so what's my area of focus today? So for instance, you know, one day this week, I had medical appointments, so that was my area focus was my health. And I was like, you know what you and if I don't get a lot of work done for Grad School Femtoring Today's my day to focus on me. And so in addition to going to the doctor, you know, I went out and went to the park and I just did things that were really good for me, that was my area of focus. I did get other work related things done. And I wrote them all down on my got done list. But at the end of the day, I was like today's about my health.

I've had days that have been yesterday's day was like a business planning day. So I had a business coaching call with with my business coach, I had, I went back and updated my business plan. I was updating some administrative records of like my clients that I've served this year. So everything was kind of related to my business plan. Of course, I did other things not related to the theme, but I knew today's theme, I definitely at the end of the day, no matter what we're gonna do some things related to this.

This is great because some of y'all you know, I've mentioned the importance of time management, energy management, and time blocking as an example of a way to organize your day. And I know that sometimes calendaring doesn't work for every person. And sometimes time blocking in like specific blocks of time doesn't really work for everybody. But having a theme of the day that could work too. Like if you have you know every Mondays you do X you know like every Mondays we take out the trash but similarly if you're like okay, every Thursday's, I am going to touch my dissertation, or every Friday I am going to do something for my self care or every. So you could work that into your day I don't have it set like that per se right now I do have time blocking set on my calendar.

But I like that with my daily focus planner, I've got my area of focus, and then I've got my got done list. So even if I don't get anything done from my top three work priorities and top three personal priorities for the day, I still can give myself credit for the things that I did. So if you want to create your own got done list, I highly highly recommend that you keep it somewhere where you can see it. Then you also keep it somewhere where you can easily update it so that every time you do something again, give yourself credit for it.

And you know, customize it in a way that works best for you. You don't have to use my daily focus planner. If you want to though I do want to offer it as a free resource. I have added it to my Grad School Femtoring Resource Kit. That means that if you go to my shownotes, you will see a link to download my resource kit. And it's going to be in there. If you've already downloaded my resource kit, you can go ahead and download it again. Or you can email me and I'll send you a copy of this daily focus planner.

Like I said, it's just one sheet. And it has a couple of sections. But you know what, you don't even need this, you can create your own got done list, and have fun with it. I think that's all I wanted to say about the got done list. I guess I just want to remind you, like, why is this so important compared to having a to do list? This is important, because I find that with every conversation I have with clients, even with family members, like I was talking to my sister, and she was telling me every single time that I talk to you, you always remind me of how much I'm doing. I'm like, Yeah, I'm good. I'm giving you credit, because you do do a lot. And you are not giving yourself credit for it.

And the same is true with my clients. They're telling me all the things they've got going on in their life. And then they keep focusing on the things that they haven't done, like I haven't done enough of my writing or haven't done enough of my work that I need to do to apply to grad school or haven't done enough, it's always the not enoughness that they're focusing on, instead of giving themselves enough credit for what they are doing and have been doing.

So that's why I think this is important and a helpful exercise to try out. You want to acknowledge your progress, even if it's slow and small progress. You want to acknowledge your accomplishments, you want to celebrate everything that you're doing. You want to acknowledge yourself, this is all super duper important because the more that you do this, this can also help to maintain your motivation so you can keep going.

Yeah, that's all I had to say for today. I know I said I was gonna keep it short and sweet. Let me know if you do end up trying out the got done list. I'm curious how it works out for you. I'm very much enjoying it. I'm enjoying using my daily focus planner. If you want to check that out. Definitely check it out at the link in the show notes. Okay. All right. I'll talk to you all next time.

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